A coworker just joined a friend that bought himself a new set of tires for his car. He used a legendary and low priced dealer in Oslo. It is run by some extremely efficient and clever people looking like they divide their time 50% doing work for the shop and 50% lifting weights at the gym. Not the kind of people you would mess with.
At the entrance of the shop they have put up a sign that is kind of interesting here in heavily regulated and streamlined Norway. It says:
“Theft will not be reported. It will be punished.”
Fantastic. This is what I call efficient communication!
Via HappyGoLucky.no (Norwegian)
More fun with my pictures from the year 2005. These pictures are a very good illustration of the four seasons here in Norway. The temperature vary from -20 to +30 degrees celcius. (And please note that -20 is the extreme low. Winter here in Oslo tend to vary between -5 and +5, still talking celcius). Summer should be from +15 to +25 C.
…and to make it easy for the people using an ancient system for measuring temperature:
Extremes through the year: -4 to +86 F
Normal winter: 23 to 41 F
Normal summer: 59 to 77 F
Picture by Glenn C. Feron
You can’t buy the effect of photoshop in a beauty saloon
The brilliant retoucher Glenn C. Feron has a wonderful portfolio where you can see the difference between the original and the picture that he has touched with his photoshop magic.
As you can see from the picture here, to the left you have a beautiful lady. Already beautiful to the point that is not possible to reach for average people because she is already prepared by the finest of professional make-up artists, hairdressers and an excellent photographer. To the right she is even more beautiful. Beautiful to the point that is completely impossible. To look like her in real life is something that is as difficult as looking like Donald Duck or any other fictional creature.
The problem is that a lot of average people think it is possible to look like the girl on the right. Huge industries of beauty products rely on the fact that people want to look like a creature from a fairy tale. For my own kids it won’t be a problem. They grow up with photoshop and all the knowledge that lets them separate fiction from real life.
The problem is the digital divide. All the people that actually think that a cure of pills, powder and skin care can do the same magic that photoshop can do.
And what’s the conclusion? Stop artists like Glenn Feron? Put a warning on the magazine cover saying that the person in the picture is fictional?
Of course not! Glenn, keep up the good work.
The solution is knowledge. Understanding. Analytical skills. Go home and tell your fourteen old girl.
Via Digital Media Thoughts
I was presenting at the stage in the picture last week (no, it’s not me in the picture). During my presentation I have a part about usability, and I could not help mentioning the picture of a horrible example of bad usability hanging behind me. A picture of a Nokia 6630 with a hand that is about to insert a memory card. Marked in red in the picture.
Looking at the closeup, someone could think that the photographer snapped the picture at the wrong moment. The memory card has its back facing towards the user. It should be like the next picture in this post.
The same situation. Looks OK, the front of a phone, the front of a memory card, and a slot on the side of the phone where you are supposed to insert the card. But, no. This is the wrong way to do it. The photographer is not stupid, you are supposed to insert the card with the back facing towards yourself. Why on earth would they put the card reader into the phone that way?
The correct way to insert a memory card in a Nokia 6630 is how it is illustrated in this picture. Because I am interested in technology on a level that is above average people tend to ask me when they have questions. Lately I have had quite a bit of questions regarding the Nokia 6630 and Nokia 6680. Questions regarding music, pictures, podcasts and navigation software on the memory card. I have tried to observe closely, and not one of the persons have tried to insert the card in the correct way on the first try.
Simply because the correct way to insert the card is what most sane people would think of as the wrong way.
And, as a finishing note:
If you insert the card the wrong way, it will lock itself into the slot and you would have to use some kind of tool to get it out. When you get it out you have to insert it the wrong way once more to release the slot and then insert it the right way.
Nokia – why?
Related post: An example of good and bad usability design
It’s old news, but a mod for “Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas” expands the game with some extra functionallity that actually lets the character you are playing make love. The game in it’s original state lets your character kill people, deal drugs, steal cars, shoot, knock people out etc.. For the americans, the original functionallity is OK. The game had a rating of “M” (Mature), that means suitable for people of 17 or older.
The odd thing is that the so called “hotcoffee” mod that added the functionallity for making love made the americans go completely mad. They are taking the game off the shelves and have changed the rating to “AO” (Adults Only), that is 18 years and over. The highest level possible.
As the brilliant Maddox states it:
I want to shoot people in the face, bang prostitutes, traffic drugs, steal cars, and terrorize police officers without this filthy smut in my game.
Now, I am reading that the FBI seems to find the war on porn more important than the war on terror.
Mostly I actually like Americans and some important parts of their culture, but this is just completely insane…
In my post about how abused the term “media center” is I mentioned that the biggest newspaper in Norway has a blog in their printed paper. And, they clearly states that the journalist writing the coloumn is a blogger.
It is amazing how technical terms is misproperly used by the same journalists that hypes stuff up into the skies. There is close to nothing in the definition of a blog that suggests that it is possible to have one in a printed paper. Who on earth are VG adressing when they call their coloumn a blog? The people that knows what a blog is shake their head and call VG stupid. And, how much sense does it make to call it a blog if you adress the people that doesn’t know what a blog is?
Beats me. And confuses the people that tries to learn what this new phenomenon is.
VG – How about adding a podcast to your printed paper as well?
…and then there is all the commercial companies that totally don’t get it as well.
Western Digital, please stop making my work difficult!
I just bought a new external hard drive. It is a USB2/FW 250GIG Western Digital with a built in card reader. I repeat, a hard drive with a card reader.
I am doing lots of presentations and travel around trying to explain new media and technologies for my audience. A Media Center is one of the terms I try to explain these days. Of course it’s difficult to make clear definitions on terms like that, but usually there is a basic explanation somwhere in the simplification of the technology.
For the term “Media Center” that includes something like “…a box that lets you play several different types of media. Usually designed to reside in your living room…”
It’s actually easier to say what types of devices that in no way could be described as a Media Center. And, a hard drive with a card reader is not a Media Center. Still, that’s what Western Digital calls my new hard drive.
Stupid, stupid people. You confuse the consumers. And you make my work difficult.
But – who cares? The biggest newspaper in Norway – “Verdens Gang” has a blog in their printed paper…. Aaaargh!